As part of the verification process we have the ability to build a life-size mannequin for use in the large wind tunnel. Using a mannequin allows us to accurately test the performance of a skinsuit without fatiguing the athlete or requiring them to be present for multiple test days. Every mannequin has a bespoke fit based on the 3D scan of the rider and is assembled using locating geometries and strong magnets.
12 large volume Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) 3D printers work day and night to construct the various mannequin components for a fast turn-around. Our construction material of choice is recycled ABS plastic as it is far easier to post-process than harder materials such as PLA. For ease of printing we split the athlete’s scan into sections such as upper and lower legs, and separate feet.
When assembled, each mannequin can be clothed in our custom skinsuits and placed on the bike in the wind tunnel. Any tweaks or marginal gains from suit positioning can then be found without subjecting an athlete to prolonged testing scenarios. A rigid mannequin also allows us to keep riding position constant throughout our tests.